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The Covid19 pandemic affects all of us and highlights our global interconnectedness. We are all suffering but those suffering most are those with the fewest resources – the poorest and most vulnerable in our societies. Nowhere more so than in India where the rapid nation-wide lockdown on 22 March has resulted in untold misery and hardship for many millions of daily labourers unable now to leave their homes to work and feed their families. Even worse hit are the many migrant labourers who have travelled long distances to different states to find work. They are stuck in cities across India – far from home with no work, no income, little if any food or shelter and no transport home. Their situation is dire – even without the additional threat of contracting the coronavirus.
There are now reports that the Indian Government lockdown initially expected to end on 14 April may be extended up until 20 June. This will result in enormous hardship for many. Meagre government assistance is failing to reach those most in need. Families with no income are being asked to pay for free government rations and are regularly cheated over the quantities of basic foodstuffs they are entitled to.
In Nagpur, in central India, a Buddhist NGO, Aryaloka, which normally provides training in computer skills for students from the slum populations, has launched an emergency appeal to provide basic food and other necessities (such as rice, flour, dhal and soap) for 1000 most affected families in the slums of Nagpur. Aryaloka is well placed to provide this help. They have worked in these slums for many years and know the families and communities most in need. They have volunteers able and willing to help. As in all their work, Aryaloka is motivated by the Buddhist ideals of compassion and a desire to relieve suffering. If you can help Aryaloka at this time of desperate need please go to: